Simply put, Milk is a moving film about a guy who wanted to change the way things worked, and actually did so, which is not an easy thing to accomplish. As Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to a major public office (in this case, City Supervisor of San Francisco), Sean Penn deservedly earns his Best Actor Oscar. Director Gus Van Sant and Oscar-winner Dustin Lance Black do a similarly fantastic job of telling a story everyone knows the ending of, without veering into melodrama, or turning their subject into a saint. “You gotta give ‘em hope,” says Harvey. Milk gives me hope for American filmmaking.
Specials Highlights: Deleted scenes, “Remembering Harvey” doc lets the real people involved give their impressions of the man
Marie & Bruce
This filmic version of a Wallace Shawn stage play never lets you forget its origins. With stagy, almost Seussian dialogue (count how many times Matthew Broderick’s Bruce calls Julianne Moore’s Marie “darling” in any given speech) and claustrophobic settings, the crumbling marriage the titular characters takes (literally) surreal turns throughout a hot summer day in the city. Worth sticking it out for Moore’s acting in a party-scene late in the film, which gives a truly visceral feeling of discomfort. Every seen someone about to get sick or pass out? This is it. That may not be the best reason for watching a film, but it certainly is different. Tom Cairns directs.
Revenge of the Boarding School Dropouts
Tom Green does one funny, and that funny was played out on his MTV show a decade ago. In this scattershot almost certainly directionless film (though one is mysteriously credited), Green and Dave England play the kinds of roles that make it obvious why you’ve never heard of this straight-to-vid B flick. Green tromps around as a less funny Chris “Jesus” Ferguson with a fixed eleven-mile stare, like a drunk with the hiccups coming on; otherwise it’s hottubs, inexplicable women in bikinis and deleterious snowboarding shots set to whoops and thrill music. Actually, thinking of it that way, it’s doesn’t sound half bad. (And somehow it is).
Specials Highlights: There’s a chapters section, and if you’re smart you’ll jump to the end credits.